Welcome to Flavortown

Is it Flavor Town or Flavortown? I’m actually not sure. Unfortunately, I don’t know Guy Fieri, so I can’t ask the Mayor of Flavortown about the preferred spelling. Regardless, this is a post about my favorite wild-haired, sandwich-tasting chef on television. For the most part, people know Guy Fieri from one of his shows on the Food Network; the one I occasionally watch is Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. If you haven’t seen it, basically Guy travels around the country sampling different town’s cult-favorite restaurants. The show has actually been on the air for so long (29 seasons over 12 years), there are websites dedicated to searching among the 1,000 places he’s visited (like this one and this one).

I like his show because he seems to have so much enthusiasm. I’m sure a significant part of it is his managed celebrity persona, but it does seem like there is a genuine person there who just enjoys tasty food. And for the most part, it’s the same type of food I get excited about; well-made, quality ingredients, often messy, and probably unhealthy. Although I don’t understand his aversion to eggs, I feel like I get the same look in my eyes that Guy Fieri does when he sees a massive awesome sandwich. Guy’s relentless positivity on his show is very refreshing in a genre of television that mostly seems to be about yelling at people.

Unlike seemingly every celebrity outside of Tom Hanks, I also haven’t ever heard a scandal or negative story about Guy Fieri. Sure, I’ve seen stories about one of his restaurants having bad food. But with everything going on in the last couple years, I’d be good with more scandals like that. One piece of news that really stuck out in my mind was during the recent California wildfires, Fieri cooked food for first responders. I obviously don’t know him, but he seems like a good dude from what I’ve read.

That brings us to the real purpose of this post, which is some artwork I did over the last couple of days featuring Guy Fieri. I got the idea from something that he apparently isn’t a huge fan of – Internet memes. If you browse memes, I’m sure you’ve seen some featuring him. I think the Fieri memes are usually funny, and although they do poke fun at his schtick, it seems like they further cement his place in pop culture. It almost becomes fan tribute in some ways. So, here is my drawing inspired by Guy Fieri memes:

I can’t remember the exact meme, but it featured Guy looking inside a restaurant, with a captioned riff on vampires along the lines of “A Fieri can only enter your diner if invited.” I got a chuckle out of it, but also thought it would make a fun thing to sketch. I enjoyed the previous meme artwork I did, so I figured this could be solid too. the primary challenges would be that the original image was not sharp (facial features were blurry), and that I would have to reposition the subjects. Fieri and the other guy needed to be closer to each other and I had to match his gaze with the food.

For such an unplanned, spur-of-the moment thing to draw, this actually worked out pretty well. Everything seems to be in the right place in the final version. I even mostly got Guy Fieri’s look down decently well; I thought I was in danger of washing out his features at one point, but was able to salvage them. I don’t think I’ve ever drawn a burger or french fries before, so I actually wasn’t sure what colors to use. I did some samples with various yellows and lighter browns and they look pretty delicious. I’m actually getting hungry now.

Background scenery, as I’ve discussed many times, has always been a weakness for me. Although it worked out fine here for the most part, the tree is pretty clunky. I’m just not an especially patient artist, so leaves are really a challenge. Likewise for brick walls and other features with numerous repeating patterns.

As usual, I did a progression .gif to show a few stages in the process. There’s sort of a big leap towards the end that was unintentional; I got really carried away after the fries and forgot to take more photos.

That’s all for now – from all of us (okay just me) here in Flavortown, thanks for reading!

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